Miami's Mark Leventhal is something of a legend in the local DJ community.
“He was the first guy to go from rock to hip-hop, from hip-hop to old school to a dance record," says Miami's DJ Affect. "He was actually one of the only DJs who was able to cross over from being a nightclub guy to the corporate side.”
Leventhal got his start in the '90s. Born in Boston, he moved to Miami from New York at a time when South Beach was better known as a retirement community. He spinned at all the major clubs in Miami and even started his own clothing line, Pervert. According to Mr. Mauricio, another local spinner, “Mark Leventhal is like an institution to Miami Beach nightlife."
Last week, the popular DJ suddenly fell into a coma after going to Jackson Memorial Hospital with back pain. A cause has not been disclosed. But what's known is Leventhal, like many DJs, does not have health insurance. At 50 years old, he's the father of three children.
This week, Haven lounge in South Beach held a benefit to help cover the costs of Leventhal's healthcare. Friends, family, DJ colleagues and even bar backs were there to show support.
Energetic, funny and with a wide knowledge of music, Leventhal has stayed relevant in Miami when lots of artists are no more than fads. Now he works at different clubs and special events, so his contribution goes beyond the turntables.
"If you want to be a DJ, follow what he’s done,” says Mr. Mauricio. “He didn’t stay just as a DJ. He would always do promotions, invest in other companies. He did stuff in the '90s that was ahead of its time.
“He invested his time, he invested his craft into what the beach is now. He’s laid the groundwork for someone like me."
Leventhal’s family has setup a website on his behalf with close to $30,000 raised at presstime. Click here for more information.